Pandaw Secures New Funding, Plans to Restart Voyages in September 2022

Pandaw, a veteran river cruise line in Southeast Asia and India, announced in late October that it would be closing due to lack of funding. Now, it has a new lease on life.

In a good news moment for "cruise recovery," the river cruise operator said Friday, December 17 that it was "delighted" to secure new funding to see it through to September 2022 when it anticipates restarting operations on Asian waterways. 

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The statement said: "Following the announcement last month that Pandaw would close due to lack of funds, as a result of COVID-19, the company was inundated with hundreds of goodwill messages from regular passengers. In addition, several would be investors emerged keen to acquire this iconic brand."

So, "the Strachan family, who own Pandaw, have managed to secure further finance to cover the lay-up and vessel refurbishment costs for a restart next autumn," the statement noted. "They plan to keep the business in the family and relaunch marketing activity as soon as all remaining travel restrictions have been lifted."

Paul Strachan, Pandaw's founder, said that "if it weren't for the support of members of the Pandaw community with so many kind words evoking memories of incredible experiences with us, I think we would have thrown in the towel. A big thank you to all our supporters for raising morale after nearly two years of hell."

Bookings for season 2022-2023 have been strong, the line said, adding that many departures are sold out as those previously booked on past scheduled voyages canceled due to COVID-19 have been using their future cruise credits to rebook.

"Many new bookers have taken advantage of the $100 deposit scheme that reassures against the risk of further cancellations," the line said. 

Good news for the Asian-focused line is that Pandaw’s destinations are reopening with India, Thailand and Cambodia now open to vaccinated travelers. The line said that parts of Laos and Vietnam will be accessible in January 2022 as a first step towards fully reopening later in the year.

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